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Law in Modern Society$
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Denis Galligan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291830

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291830.001.0001

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Law Prior to Rules

Law Prior to Rules

(p.70) 4 Law Prior to Rules
Law in Modern Society


Oxford University Press

Although one point of view would point out that the law consists of social rules because these rules are said to depend on social conventions, the point of view of law in society would look at it differently. In order to understand the nature of law as a social formation, its elements have to be examined and its ties to social contexts have to be analysed. The social context is more than just a common point for law and other social elements; it also serves as a part of the constitution of law. This chapter studies what law meant during the time that laws and other legal concerns were not yet established. It does this by retracing legal evolution from rules then to rulings then finally to legal acts. Law in its most elemental form is neither a rule nor is it ruling, but it is embodied through an act that has legal meaning.

Keywords:   social context, rules, ruling, legal act, legal meaning

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